10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week: April 8, 2021
In this weekly series, Artsy’s Curatorial and Editorial teams offer a look at the artworks that are currently gaining traction among collectors on Artsy. Looking at our internal data, we share a selection of works that Artsy members are engaging with through inquiries, page views, and saves, plus promising lots in current auctions. The following pieces are culled from recent online auctions and art fairs hosted on Artsy, as well as exhibitions and works added by our gallery partners.
Baldur Helgason, Figure with 4 Mouths (2017)
This work by the Icelandic artist Baldur Helgason is attracting a frenzy of interest on Artsy. The characteristically cartoonish piece by Helgason saw a surge of inquiries as soon as the work was uploaded to the platform by Remes Advisory in late March. Meanwhile, additional works by Helgason uploaded for Richard Heller Gallery’s presentation at EXPO CHGO Online have already sold.
Nicolas Party, Landscape (2014)
This pastel drawing by the Swiss artist Nicolas Party has drawn a huge amount of interest since being uploaded to Artsy by David Benrimon Fine Art in early April. This demand comes as little surprise. One of the most influential artists of 2020, Party is likely to continue his art industry ascent this year, with two major solo exhibitions in the coming months at MASI Lugano and Kestner Gesellschaft.
Stephen Towns, Two Roses (2021)
Uploaded for EXPO CHGO Online, this luminous work by the Baltimore-based artist Stephen Towns is already attracting a significant number of inquiries. Towns was recently mentioned in a profile Artsy ran on the collector Carla Shen, whose dynamic Brooklyn-based art collection also includes works by Mickalene Thomas, Derek Fordjour, Susan Chen, and Vaughn Spann, to name a few. Earlier this week, it was announced that Towns was among the 66 recipients of the 2021 Maryland State Arts Council Independent Arts Award.
Joan Mitchell, Untitled (1956–58)
This work by the highly sought-after Abstract Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell is currently on view at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s exhibition “Distinctive/Instinctive: Postwar Abstract Painting,” which closes on April 17th. In the past decade, the market for Mitchell’s work has skyrocketed. These days, it’s not uncommon for a unique work by Mitchell to fetch a multimillion-dollar price at auction, with her mid-century works being among her most coveted.
Julian Schnabel, The Conversion of St. Paolo Malfi (1995)
While there aren’t any bids on this Julian Schnabel painting thus far at Bonhams’s “Made in California: Contemporary Art” sale, the work is likely to gather interest. This large-scale abstract canvas is from one of Schnabel’s most personal and gestural series, “The Conversion of St. Paolo Malfi Near Rome.” These works were painted as an homage to his longtime friend and studio assistant Paolo Malfi, who died in a car accident near Rome, Italy.
Phoebe Beasley, Dressy Concession (1994)
This collaged work by Phoebe Beasley is also featured in Bonhams’s “Made in California: Contemporary Art” sale. A close personal friend of Maya Angelou, Beasley is the only artist to have received two Presidential Seals for her work; one from President Clinton and the other from President George H. W. Bush. She is currently the subject of a solo show at Rena Bransten Gallery, titled “MIGRATIONS in Our Mind’s Eye,” which tells the story of the Great Migration, the decades-long movement north of 6 million African Americans from the rural south between 1916 and 1970.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, The Comedian (2017)
With a single bid, this print by the American artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn is already just shy of reaching its low estimate at Artsy and Forum Auctions’s “Contemporary Editions” sale. Part of an edition of 75, this print is an excellent opportunity to collect a work by Quinn; other prints from this edition have been offered for as much as $15,000. Reflecting on the work, Quinn has said, “The Comedian hinges on an aspect of human identity where performance and audience are merging forces: one aims to be pure, the other aims to be inspired.”
Kara Walker, Emancipation Approximation: Scenes 5; 9; 15; 18; and 26 (1999–2000)
These five prints from Kara Walker’s powerful series “Emancipation Approximation” are expected to do well at Phillips’s “Editions & Works on Paper” sale. Part of a series of 27 screenprints, these works interpret Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which formally abolished slavery in the United States in 1863, through a lens that unpacks the document’s complicated history. An edition of the series was acquired by The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2003.
El Anatsui, Gold Band (2020)
Another work that’s likely to attract a flurry of bids is this recent edition by the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui. The mixed-media piece resembles Anatsui’s hallmark unique works—sculptural tapestries made from bottle caps and scrap metal—and is one of three printer’s proofs from an edition of 12. Earlier this year, Anatsui was the subject of an extensive New Yorker profile, which described the artist as someone who has “discovered a kind of immortality in something cheaper than a penny, fragile enough to tear by hand.”
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother (1936)
A print of Dorothea Lange’s timeless dust bowl portrait Migrant Mother is currently available through Heritage Auctions’s “Signature Photographs” sale, where it has already passed its high estimate of $2,500. Likely among the most well-known photographs in United States history, the image bears witness to the brutal realities of the Great Depression.